Monday, 27 July 2015

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 1 - "A Shadowed Livery" by Charlie Garratt. Feature and Giveaway.

Thanks to the author, Irish resident Charlie Garratt, and Grey Cells Press, I have 3 signed copies of this title to Giveaway.  Just enter via the rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck!

I asked Charlie to tell me about his favourite Irish read...

When I agreed to write a short piece for Irish Fiction Fortnight on one of my favourite books I thought it would be easy. After all, there are so many classic Irish authors including, Goldsmith, Joyce, Stoker, O’Brian, Lewis and Yeats. The list goes on and on. On one website alone there were over forty listed, of every style and genre and these didn’t include many of the current crop of writers, some of whom are set to become classics in their own right.

So how to decide? Surely one of the points of fiction, Irish or otherwise, is to transport us from where we are to another place. Sometimes this will be somewhere better, more exotic, adventurous. At others, it will be to somewhere darker, frightening, perilous. So my choice would depend on where I might want to find myself at a particular time. My, this caused me some considerable thought. Would it be Dubliners? Lair of the White Worm?  Gullivers Travels? The Commitments?

Then I thought of my connection to Ireland. My wife is Irish and we owned a holiday home in Donegal for ten years before moving here in 2006, when our own writing journey really began. In the early days we’d curl up under the thatch, in front of a turf fire – I’m talking real rural Ireland here – and read anything available. One of my best memories is of discovering, Brian O’Nolan, under his pseudonyms of Flann O’Brian and Myles na gCopaleen, and The Poor Mouth, which made me laugh and weep until the storms blew through. This parody led me to his other novels The Hard Life and the delightfully strange The Third Policeman.

So I think I’m torn for my favourite between The Poor Mouth, with its unremitting rain, abject poverty and adventures of its hero Bónapárt Ó Cúnasa, and The Third Policeman, with an image which has made me smile regularly since I read it, of long-term bicycle riders leaning on one arm against the wall because the atoms of their body and their bone-shaker have transmuted and made them into part-bicycle, part man. An extension of this records the hanging of a bike for murder!

Do I have to choose? Really?


In the dying days of September 1938 the murderer of a Jewish shopkeeper is hanged in Birmingham. After witnessing the execution, Inspector James Given, who brought the killer to justice, is surprised to find he has been taken off the investigation into attacks on Jews to pursue a very different case. Two people have been found dead in the grounds of a Warwickshire house: it seems clear that Lady Isabel Barleigh has shot her disabled son on the eve of his wedding then turned the weapon on herself. An hour later his fiancée, distraught with grief, committed suicide. The case has been all but closed; Given doesn't believe this version of events and, with the local policeman, Constable Sawyer, begins to dig further into the past of the Barleigh family. Meanwhile, Given's own past - his very nature, hidden from all - begins to catch up with him A complex mystery about identity, deceit, and past crimes. Inspired by a true story.


Charlie Garratt was born in Manchester and moved to Coventry, Warwickshire, at the age of 18 where he trained as a telecommunications engineer. Increasing involvement in his local community led to a change of career and over thirty years in the field of community development across the United Kingdom. Charlie moved with his wife to Donegal, Ireland, in 2006 where he now writes, plays guitar and grows vegetables.

He is author and co-author of a number of books and guides on community participation, and author of a large number of short stories. He is an active member of a writers' group.

His first novel, A Shadowed Livery, a murder mystery set in Warwickshire, was published in April 2015 by Grey Cells Press the crime imprint of Holland House

A Shadowed Livery is published by Grey Cells Press and is available in paperback and ebook format 
It can be ordered with Free Worldwide Postage here , from 

The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:


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